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A study was undertaken at Georgia's Gainesville College to compare the distribution of grades awarded in academic courses in fall 1990 with those in fall 1996. Study findings included the following: (1) the overall college-wide pass rate in academic courses rose from 65.1% in fall 1990 to 68.6% in fall 1996; (2) excluding students who withdrew by mid-quarter, pass rates were 73% for fall 1990 and 80.1% for fall 1996; (3) for the college's six divisions (i.e., humanities, speech and fine arts, science and technology, mathematics and computer science, social sciences, and business), mathematics and computer science had the lowest pass rates for both years studied, with 43.4% of students passing in 1990 and 48.5% in 1996; (4) for the speech and fine arts department, the pass rate actually dropped from 74.5% in 1990 to 70.9% in 1996; and (5) more "A's" and "B's" and fewer "D's" and "F's" were awarded in fall 1996 than in fall 1990. The study also suggested seven factors influencing the grade distribution, including the implementation of computer-assisted learning strategies across campus, the implementation of a college preparatory curriculum in area high schools, the establishment of incentive grants to encourage students to study harder, and an increase in the number of students who withdraw from courses. (BCY)

Descriptors: College Curriculum, College Preparation, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Computer Assisted Instruction, Educational Trends, Grades (Scholastic), High Schools, Incentives, Outcomes of Education, Tables (Data), Trend Analysis, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges, Withdrawal (Education)

Autor: Hamilton, John


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